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Oral Soft-tissue Surgery

Soft-tissue surgeries improve function, appearance and oral health.

While surgeries involving your teeth and jaw bones are considered hard-tissue surgeries, there are a number of surgeries that involve the gums, cheeks, tongue and lips. These surgeries are called soft-tissue surgeries and are performed by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

These surgeries range from minor procedures – such as removing excess gum tissue for a gingivectomy – to the complex rebuilding of a child’s soft palate as part of a cleft lip/palate procedure.


Frena are small folds of tissue located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip and connecting the cheeks to the gums.

A frenectomy is a simple procedure performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to loosen the frenum’s connection and extend the range of motion.

Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty

Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth, is caused by bacteria that – if left unchecked – may lead to periodontitis. A gingivectomy surgically removes diseased or excess gum tissue and the bacteria that can cause periodontitis.

Gingivoplasty, which is the surgical reshaping of the gum tissue, is often performed in combination with a gingivectomy for functional or cosmetic purposes.

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Last updated July 2023

The information provided here is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is provided to help you communicate effectively when you seek the advice of your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Photos and videos are for illustration purposes only and are not indicative to what a patient may experience.